KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Nursing students are among the fatalities in what was considered as one of the worst road accidents that hit North Cotabato since 2012.
The accident involved a military truck, a jeepney and a van that resulted in the death of seven passengers. Seventeen others were injured.
The nursing students, police said, were on their way to Cruzado Hospital in Pikit town for their internship when the accident happened.
Police identified the fatalities as Mohamed Samil Ali, van driver; Solayman Macaindeg; Musa Bacuna; and Nursing students Sittie Haymiyah Ibrahim, Umayrah Abutazil, Potri Sauya Mansa, and Judy Uy of Saint Benedict College based in Parang, Maguindanao.
Chief Inspector Jordine Maribojo of Pikit police said all of the slain passengers were on board a Toyota Hi-Ace van plying the Cotabato-Pikit route.
According to reports, the van was overspeeding when it was negotiating a blind curve along the boundary of Aleosan and Pikit towns around 12:10 p.m. Friday.
"Maybe, the driver failed to realize there are vehicles from the other side of the road that, just like his van, are also negotiating on the curve, so the collision happened," said Maribojo.
The van first hit a passenger Lawin jeepney and later smashed into a military truck.
Both the jeepney and the military vehicle were on their way to Cotabato City when the accident took place.
The impact of the colliding vehicles split the van into two, Maribojo said.
Four of the van passengers died on the spot, three expired while being treated at the hospital, and the rest are in critical condition.
Others who were also injured during the crash were passengers from the Lawin jeepney and the military truck.
Among those injured were identified as Tintin Castillon, 30; Randy Corpuz, 33; Marvin Latoza, 20; Elmer Madsay; Niafa Esmael; Norhana Minang; Marima Landasan, 26; Chanads Manampan, 16; Sadam Lumanda, 21; Demalungan Ebrahim, 20; Minang Norhaina, 18; Madjan Esmael; Ceferino Villanueva; Norah Piang Paidumama; Nairali Datakkah Tungkay; Batawan Wanita, 48; Nagnal Naphy, 28; Atang Lolita; Alma Rose Maciado, 25; and Michael Barrientos. (MCM of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)